This post has been sitting, unpublished for some time. I recently had another look at it and tweeked it a little because of some spelling errors, but it is one I never intended to publish. It is a very personal article that I didn’t want to share and, even now, I wonder about the decision. It was written when I was very depressed and in pain. I was thinking about past events and wrote this. I may remove it as I have done to other posts that were written while I was depressed. It may sound strange, but these were my thoughts while I was in a dark place…. Thank you.
Have you ever regretted something that has happened to you?
Have you ever sat and dwelt on someone? Someone from your past that you never quite got over? A certain someone that is always in the back of your mind?
Recently, I have. I never was one for introspection. I never had the time. My life was a constant roller-coaster of events and deployments. I didn’t have time to think about things that had happened to me, unless it was work related. I never really thought about anything, seriously, unless it was work. For me, my work was everything. It defined my life, it defined who I was and my attitude toward anything personal. In short, I didn’t really have time for a personal life. It got in the way.
I was thinking about someone I had met. To this day, I have no idea how the events that lead to our meeting were set in motion. It was a flook. Our own personal situations happened to coincide and we were thrown toward the inevitable meeting. That’s not to say that either one of us could have changed our minds and our paths would never have crossed. But we didn’t and they did. It was something unique and yet sublime.
Although I try not to dwell too much in my past, this woman keeps popping up. I think the reason is because there was no proper conclusion to our brief relationship. The actual relationship wasn’t brief, but the time we spent together was. As I sit here and type this, I keep thinking that it was too brief. We didn’t have time to get to know each other on a deeply personal level but what I did learn is that I wanted to spend more time with her. Time I didn’t have and, to my regret, time that was more important to my job. My work came first, everything else was subject to availability!
It’s easy to sit back and think, ‘Well, I should have done it differently’. Life doesn’t work like that. That would be far too easy and, to be honest, far too boring. One of the things that makes our lives interesting is the fact that we cannot predict what will happen and how our choices will affect our lives. Sometimes (or as it appears to me, more often than not) our choices lead to life changing events that have a permanent and negative impact on our lives. Sometimes people are fortunate in that their choices have lead to happiness and contentment (and sometimes the lottery!). We just don’t know how our own choices will affect our lives in the years that follow.
I can still picture the first meeting. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. Sitting in a cafe, drinking our tea or coffee, our conversation was slightly forced. I was shocked by how young she looked and how beautiful she was. Never one to be vain, for the first time I became very conscious of my own appearance. I haven’t looked young since I was about nineteen. To any passer-by, I must have looked like a dirty old man! Our conversation was non-consequential, it was small talk but what was taking place in the background was deeper. The way she looked at me and her seemingly harmless touches on my hand are still vivid in my memory and my hands still feel the cool caress of her fingers. For the first time in my life, my brain went into neutral and my heart took over.
I have never been a romantic. I don’t think I could be even if I tried. My brother is the lady-killer in our family, his good looks and charm have stood him in good stead in that department. My mother once commented that I didn’t have a heart, just a lump of ice. Admittedly, I brought that on myself, as I said, I never had time for romance. However, with this woman everything felt different. I don’t believe in fate or whatever, but I couldn’t help wondering how this wonderful thing had happened to me.
As the moments passed and events progressed, I became more enthralled in the spell she had apparently woven around me. Our every moment was magical, The time we spent together will forever be etched on my soul. Our passion was unbound yet delicate. I remember once, as she was sleeping and breathing gently that I had this crazy notion of wanting part of her. I changed the rhythm of my breath so that as she breathed out, I breathed in. The sensation was indescribable. That simple act had the same effect as alcohol and I became giddy by the sensation. As I think back on it, it does sound a little weird but at the time it was something beyond words.
No good thing lasts forever. Not in my life. In the end, I left her. Work called and as ever, I was it’s loyal hound. I will admit, that for the first time I actually resisted the call, not wanting the break the spell that was woven around us. I failed and went back to my comfort zone. That’s not to say that I didn’t think about her. To the contrary, she occupied my mind making it very difficult for me to concentrate on work. Eventually, though, with the enchantment of being near her broken, my life returned to normal. Time passes and memories fade and with them, the emotions that come with them. It’s a natural reaction otherwise the world would be populated by people who would not be able to concentrate on anything. For me it wasn’t easy. It took time but, maybe fortunately, that time was shortened by the work I did.
A long time has passed now. We still keep in touch, to some degree. She has moved on with her life and my life has all but ended. She is vibrant and still full of life. I am broken and old, my life drained by my injury. I do have the memories, though and I can still feel her cool touch on my skin.